Bass and Martin-D28

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 by Chris.

I was talking to Ivan Wilson this morning and we were commiserating over past instruments. Ivan played bass for me in my early concert performances and recordings. His upright which he played and you can hear on “Leaving on a Jet Plane” went on to become a part of the orchestral world while my Martin D-28, after a very close partnership over 25 years, was crushed in a lift. What more can I say? On “Leaving on a Jet Plane” I played my Hagstrom, but that’s another story.
My tracks are found on copious copies of budget albums for which I have never received any royalties. The music industry is not in favour of artists. It is more an overseas vacation for businessmen. I guess a closed contract is just that – closed.

This is my first single recorded in 3YA Studios in Gloucester Street, Chch, with Kevin Newcombe on panel, Ivan Wilson on double bass and John Hayday on 2nd guitar. This was recorded in one take with my harmony and my 3rd guitar track layered immediately after the track was put down. Originally recorded on Master, now in 2016 you can see it has been farmed out to distribution arms.

Provided to YouTube by Valleyarm Digital Distribution Leaving On A Jet Plane · Christine Smith Kiwis by Request ? Glory Days Music under license from V&H Hol…


Unsleeved Artists: David Buskin

Posted on August 13th, 2016 by Chris.

I used to spend hours rummaging through the product shelves in the head offices of Phonogram in Wellington when I was preparing to fulfil contractual obligations. So many artists sat unsleeved and unheard. They were not seen as being commercially viable. Record companies and radio stations colluded to construct playlists which ‘paid’ and returned profit for their investment. The concept was understandable in a commercial sense but they were not interested in the intrinsic value of talent unless there was the possibility of mercantile returns up front. Ok, it was a business and driven by offshore demands, but it made sure New Zealand audiences didn’t have a chance to appreciate a broader range of input. New Zealand audiences were like programmed sheep. Remember, there was no Internet. Imported FOLKWAYS albums were beginning to be bought from catalogues from The States. You didn’t get the chance to experience ‘other’ unless you had long and short-wave metre bands on your home valve radio to broaden your listening opportunities – oh, and a touch of initiative. Amongst these untouched sleeves were talents both in writing and performing. I took this song from the pen of Canadian – David Buskin – and included it in my repertoire. My urge was to inform and expand – to propel and to ‘broadsheet’ other artists to my public and in my own way. I continue to love it to this day.

David Buskin – When I Need You Most of All from “David Buskin” (1972) You say my smile is like a summer day, But what if tears begin to fall? If things get b…


How Folk Music evolved in 1960’s – 2nd wave

Posted on August 11th, 2016 by Chris.

Folk Music in Christchurch NZ grew in two waves.

1st Wave: The University of Canterbury’s Folk Music Club paved the way for some of the most naturally gifted and talented artists of 1960’s. In my opinion, I consider them to be the 1st Wave. They were firmly established at the time I was inducted into the club and their company. We engaged in performances as a part of the club life on campus in the Student Union’s building, in schools throughout Canterbury and the West Coast and on campus at Lincoln College. UCFMC, as it was known, established Residency on Sunday nights at The Stage Door, which was run by Des Monaghan, Kevin Bussell, and Mike Hockley. They ran Rythm ‘n Blues with The Chants on Thursday and Friday nights. The folk club matured and it was not uncommon to see a melding of the two genres  occurring.

During this time, many of the fully established artists/performers were beginning to break away from their appearances at the club as their University studies demanded a greater commitment and or they headed into the workplace or postgraduate studies overseas.

I will write about them in a future post.

2nd Wave: In the meantime here is Phil Garland’s tracking of his experience of the history of the club on his return from England. Phil had committed to a life in Rock’nRoll during the early years prior to his departure. On his return, he became absorbed into the audience and then performance in the latter stages of the Stage Door. When Sunday nights’ tenure ended Phil paved the way for the transition from The Stage Door to The Plainsmen in Litchfield Street. Thus, 2nd Wave commenced.